Wire

Parent page: Schematic Objects

Wires are used to create electrical connectivity in a schematic.

Summary

A wire is a polyline electrical design primitive that is used to form electrical connections between points on a schematic. It is analogous to a physical wire.

Availability

Wires are only available for placement in the Schematic Editor, by clicking Home | Circuit Elements |  from the main menus.

Placement

After launching the command, the cursor will change to a cross-hair and you will enter wire placement mode. Placement is made by performing the following sequence of actions:

  1. Click or press Enter to anchor the starting point for the wire.
  2. Position the cursor and click or press Enter to anchor a series of vertex points that define the shape of the wire.
  3. After placing the final vertex point, right-click or press Esc to complete placement of the wire.
  4. Continue placing further wire objects, or right-click or press Esc to exit placement mode.
  5. Use the Backspace or Delete keys to remove the last wire segment placed. If you do remove segments in this way, you must click to place a final segment, otherwise right-clicking will place the wire as it was, with all deleted segments reinstated.

While attributes can be modified during placement (Tab to bring up associated properties dialog), bear in mind that these will become the default settings for further placement.

Placement Modes

When placing a wire there are 3 placement modes, 2 of which have Start and End sub-modes. The mode specifies how corners are created when placing wires and the angles at which wires can be placed. During placement:

  • Press Shift+Spacebar to cycle through the 90 Degree, 45 Degree and Any Angle modes.
  • While in the 90 Degree or 45 Degree mode (known as true orthogonal modes), press Spacebar to cycle between the Start and End sub-modes.
  • During placement, the current placement mode is displayed in the Status bar. You can change modes at any time during wire placement.
  • In modes other than Any Angle, the line segment attached to the cursor is a look ahead segment. The segment you are actually placing precedes this look ahead segment.

 45 degree mode

 90 degree mode

 Any angle mode

Press Shift+Spacebar to cycle through the different placement modes.

Graphical Editing

This method of editing allows you to select a placed wire object directly in the workspace and change its size and/or shape, graphically.

When a wire object is selected, the following editing handles are available:

Selected Wire, ready for graphical editing.

  • Click and drag A to reposition the end points of the wire.
  • Click and drag B to move a wire vertex. The end points will remain anchored.
  • Click and drag on a wire segment to grab that segment and reposition it. The end points and other vertices will remain anchored.
  • Right-click on a vertex point and choose the Edit Wire Vertex n command to access the Vertices tab of the Wire dialog, with the entry for the nth vertex selected ready for editing.
  • Click and hold on a wire segment, then press Insert on the keyboard to add a vertex at that point.
  • Click and hold on a vertex, then press Delete on the keyboard to remove that vertex.

With the wire selected, click on a segment to individually select that segment. This wire 'sub-selection' is distinguished by the associated editing handles becoming red in color.

Individual segment sub-selection.

The associated vertices for the segment can then be edited directly using the SCH Inspector panel, with any changes appearing immediately on the schematic.

To move an entire wire, click and hold on the un-selected wire, then move to the new location.

An object that has its Locked property enabled cannot be selected or graphically edited. Double click on the locked object directly and disable the Locked property, to graphically edit the object.

Deleting a Wire Segment

You can remove a wire segment, graphically, simply by selecting that segment, and presing the Delete key. Auto-junctions are also accounted for - allowing you to remove a segment of a wire up to a specific junction only (and including that junction if only two other wire segments would otherwise remain connected to it).

Considering a T-juntion, which is formed of three wire segments and a junction, removal of one wire segment will result in the removal of the junction. The remaining two wire segments will simply be merged to form a single segment.
Remember to click twice (with a pause in between) on a particular segment of wire to select it, denoted by its end-point editing handes turning red. You can delete multiple segments across different wires, ensure that each is selected (Shift+click twice on each subsequent segment to include it in the overall segment selection).

Delete selected track segments, including attached autojunctions where applicable, with a press of the Delete key.

Where multiple different objects are currently selected on a schematic, the first use of the Delete key will delete all selected wire segments (indicated by their red editing handles). Subsequent use of the Delete key will then cause all other objects in the original selection to be deleted.
A wire segment can also be removed through use of the Break Wire feature, with the Cutting Length option set to Snap To Segment.

Non-Graphical Editing

The following methods of non-graphical editing are available:

Via an Associated Properties Dialog

Dialog page: Wire

This method of editing uses the Wire dialog to modify the properties of a Wire object.

The Wire dialog.

The dialog can be accessed during placement by pressing the Tab key.

After placement, the dialog can be accessed in one of the following ways:

  • Double-clicking on the placed Wire object.
  • Placing the cursor over the Wire object, right-clicking and choosing Properties from the context menu.
The Wire dialog includes a Vertices tab, where you can edit the individual vertices of the currently selected wire object.

Via the SCH Inspector Panel

Panel page: SCH Inspector

The SCH Inspector panel enables the designer to interrogate and edit the properties of one or more design objects in the active document. Used in conjunction with the Find Similar Objects dialog, the panel can be used to make changes to multiple objects of the same kind, from one convenient location.

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